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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 9, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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cities and public cities are getting paid. the infrastructure is slowly but surely being restored including the pipeline which provides half of their domestic oil. they continue the face extraordinary challenges . violence remain as tragic reality for many yemenis. we saw this again. in an outrageous suicide attack that killed dozens of insent yemenis. they remain one of the poorest countries on earth. conditions have only been come pounded. unemployment is as high as 40%. chronic spovert estimated at 54 -- poverty is estimated at 54%. 10 million people go to bed hungry every night. one in 10 children does not live to the age of five. president obama
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president obama has focused on a clear goal to facilitate the democratic transition while helping yemen advance political, economic, and secured a reform so it can support its citizens and counter aqap. this year alone, u.s. assistance to yemen is more than $337 million. over half this money is for transition and development. more than half of the assistance we provide to yemen is for political transition, humanitarian assistance, and development. this is the largest amount of civilian systems the united states has ever provided to yemen. the policy toward yemen is dominated by security and
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counterterrorism effort claims is not true. the united states has been and will remain a strong and active supporter of the political transition in yemen. that is what president obama called on the president to step down shortly after unrest last year. having consistently advocated for an orderly transfer of power, despite claims by some that it would jeopardize counter-terrorism operations, we helped sustain the transition and promote an inclusive national job -- dialogue. president obama issued an executive order authorizing sanctions against those who threaten the transition. we will continue to push for the timely implementation of the agreement. during this transition, we call on all yemenis to show that will put the national interest of yemen ahead of parochial
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concerns and abide by the letter and spirit of the gcc agreement so yemen can move toward a more full democracy. our comprehensive approach has a second pillar, helping to strengthen the governmeance. despite decades of rule by one man, yemen as a foundation on which it is building.
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over half this money is for political transition, of humanitarian assistance, and development. let me repeat that -- more than half of the assistance we provide yemen is for political transition, humanitarian assistance, and development. in fact, this is the largest amount of civilian assistance united states has ever provided to yemen. any suggestion that our policy toward yemen is dominated by counter-terrorism efforts is simply not true. i want to walk through the key bullets of our approach. the united states has been and will remain strong and active supporter of the political transition in yemen. that is what president obama called on the president to step down after unrest platts last year. having consistently advocated
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for the transfer of power despite some people thinking this would work against harter -- counter-terrorism operations, we worked hard with them to promote an inclusive national dialogue. president obama issued an executive order authorizing sanctions against those who threatened society. we will continue to push for the timely and full implementation of gtc agreement. we call on all yemenis to show that will put the national interests of yemen in front of personal concerns and abide by the letter and spirit of g-60 agreement. our comprehensive approach helps strengthen governments and institutions upon which the yemen long-term progress depends. despite decades of rule by one man, yemen has a foundation on which it is building. it is a vibrant civil society, and then media, and leaders to place larger national interest above politics, and religion. the president is one such leader. this year, i met with him twice in yemen and spoke to him numerous times. i have been impressed with his commitment to his nation, his integrity, and his willingness to make difficult decisions to move this country for even a great risk to himself. the yemeni people are indeed encouraged to have the president as their leader. we're helping to strengthen the yemeni government institutions so they become more responsive, effective, and responsive to the people. we are parting with ministries to expand special services, improve efficiency, combat corruption, and advocate transparency. we will support law enforcement groups to uphold the law. we're continuing our tradition of helping a civil society conduct parliamentary oversight, raise public awareness and empower women, provide leadership and advocacy training and build a capacity of political parties to engage in
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peaceful democratic discourse. of course, lasting political and economic peace is difficult so long as half of the yemenis are malnourished and will not survive another day. that is why the third approach is the media to humanitarian relief. united states provided nearly $110 million to humanitarian assistance to yemen, most of the through the un. this makes the united states the single largest provider of humanitarian assistance to yemen. these funds are allowing our u n ngo partners to provide food and food vouchers, improve sanitation and basic health services to meet other urgent needs. u.s. aid is providing more than $64 million to improve security. they want to enable units to scale up for starving children. with u.s. support, unicef and the world health organization completed a large skillet immunization campaign which may have successfully halted a polio outbreak that began last year. even with these efforts, some of the yemenis remain desperate. we commend the european union for doubling its donations to yemen and encourage other donors to contribute more to the united nations response plan which is less than 60% funded. this will create relief for millions of yemenis. we are part and with yemen in a fourth area, the economic reforms necessary for long-term projects. the $68 million in tradition assistance -- in transition assistance include assistance to improve the delivery of basic services including health, education, and water. we're helping an address its staggering health gap by iran -- renovating health clinics and providing them with equipment and helping to train doctors in child health and supporting community health education. we're helping to foster more productive techniques and provide you we are encouraging efforts to
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stabilize the economy that would undertake reforms that would raise a living standard. following the success of yemen in the south, u.s. aid is supporting the yemeni government efforts to repair war-torn infrastructure and rehabilitate communities. for its part, yemen must have a plan to address unemployment and poverty as well as the development of its common -- its economy. international donors want to know their contributions are not be inappropriate and private funds are part of the comprehensive plan, providing a vision of where the yemen leaders stand. this brings me to the final pillar of our comprehensive approach to yemen, improving security combating the terrorists. yemen cannot succeed politically, economically, socially so long as the cancer's growth og hrap remains. it must be fought and won by yemenis. to their great credit, the president and his government including the defense minister and chief of army staff and the interior minister, have made commenting -- combating the terrorists a priority. so long as aqap that fence is its murderous agenda, we will be a close ally with yemen. just as our approach to yemen is multidimensional, our counter to his or -- our counter-terrorism tools are many. with our international partners, we have put unprecedented pressure on their aqap. plots of imported and keep aqap leaders have met their demise. attention has focused on one tool in particular, drone strikes. in june, the obama administration declassified the fact that in yemen, our results of resulted in direct action against opposition leaders. this spring, a -- i address the subject at length and why strikes are legal, ethical and highly effective. today, i simply say that all our efforts in yemen are operated in
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conjunction with the yemeni government. every effort is made to avoid any civilian casualties. contrary to conventional wisdom, we see little evidence these actions are promoting anti- american sentiment. in fact, we see the opposite. our yemen partners are anxious to work with us. yet many citizens who have been free are more eager to work with the yemeni government. the strikes against the most senior and dangerous terrorists and not the problem, their part of the solution. he did bridget we're helping yemen build capacity for its own security. we're spearheading the international effort to restructure the yemen military. the $159 million we're providing to yemen this year, almost all of it is for training and equipment. we are empowered in the yemen is with the tools they need to conduct an intelligence-driven operation. our approach to yemen is reinforced by broad support from our international community. the cooperation council especially saudi arabia, the g- 10, friends of yemen, the united nations to push for a peaceful solution and facilitate a successful transition. the international community has spread u.s. sanctions against those would undermine the transition and provide humanitarian relief and offered assistance. international partners including the u.k., germany, china, russia and others have helped. saudi arabia offered $3.25 billion on top of significant fuel grants that gave yemen
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money against their loss in infrastructure. this will be critical in the years ahead. this is our support to yemen. we're providing humanitarian relief, strengthen the government, improving economic development and improving strikes against the aqap. the united states is committed to the yemen success. we share the vision that died so many yemenis, again and were all citizens shia and sunni have a government that is democratic and responsive to justice. we are under no aleutians. given the tremendous challenges that yemen continues to face, progress toward a future like this will take many years. if we have learned anything in the past two years, is that we should not underestimate the
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will of the yemeni people. despite the seemingly insurmountable odds in front of them, hundreds of thousands of men and women took to the streets and engaged in political and social movements for the first time in their lives. in so doing, they helped pave the way for change that a few years ago would have been unimaginable. that yemen did not devolve into an all-out civil war is a testament from the resilience of the yemeni people. it builds on the future and may not be determined by one thing only. the people there have long hard road the day of show their willing to make the journey. they will continue to have a partner in america, thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you mr. brennan for
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that comprehensive policy to yemen. you mentioned that helping yemen move to a transition that is democratic and responsive and more just -- how does that jibe with what of the united states most important partners in the transition which a saudi arabia? what is the involvement of saudi arabia politically and economically? will saudi arabia allow the flourishing of a more vibrant and democratic yemen with the kind of institutions you cite? >> saudi arabia has done more for yemen and any other country in the world in terms of financial support. it shares an important border
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with yemen. there were one of the key drivers and supports the agreement that called for this political transition to take place. embedded in that agreement, this political transition. whenever i go out to yemen, i will invariably go to saudi arabia. what they want to do is make sure they are working together. i have found only support coming out of saudi arabia. the one yemen to continue along this path. yemen has a history of having a vibrant civil society. >> so the saudi arabia. >> yes, they have other religions that have been there for quite some time. they're moving into this new phase. the saudis want to make sure that they can take advantage of the foundation it has already established with the yemen.
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i think that is consistent for what the region is trying to do. >> [inaudible] the president agreed to step down before his term was up. he agreed to the gcc agreement allowing elections to take place. the saudis realized that getting the president out of the position is not impossible. it was an achievement. they needed a much broader effort under way. >> how would you compare you hadi and president salaah in combating aqap? >> we have partnered with yemen for a number of years.
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there were ups and downs. there were times under the former president were there were strong disagreements about the need to have a sustained effort against aqap. anyone who knows yemen knows there are some many different things that come to bear with in yemen. i think the yemen government before president hahdi with ceo operations would affect their political equities. that cannot be part of a counter-terrorism effort. the president has a singular focus and has spread the determination. he says even if he does not tell me outside world,, men women and children, will be protected as much as they can.
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>> you see a more consistent and dependable player? >> there has been lots of consistency since the present into his own. let's move on or >> lived on to syria. there are increasing reports of media and not just coming from the asad government that extremists are coming in from all over the world and joining the rebel cause. could that threaten u.s.-saudi interests? >> the history of belt that has been they have tried to take advantage of bullets or are going through political change. or chaos.
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we'll see what they do in iraq. we have seen them in malta and yemen because of the political problems there. the syrian opposition has come out in a big way because they are concerned and they have said they will not allow al- qaeda to take advantage of the situation there. what we have to be mindful of his bed al qaeda is a worldwide enterprise and they will be looking for opportunities to exploit. >> how does the funding model currently in operation -- it seems that could contradict your policies. the u.s. and the west are not really involved with funding the yemenis. could that be self-defeating?
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>> there are a number of things in support of the opera -- opposition. i will not go into all the details but there is a lot of humanitarian assistance going in there. we want to make sure of that we understand exactly who will be the recipients of any type whether it be communications, equipment -- the tragedy that has been perpetrated on the yemeni people is something that needs to be addressed. -- on the syrian people. we're very much supportive of the effort by the opposition. >> does it matter at whose hand? the secular rebels are now
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complaining that they do not have the weapons and firepower that some of these and newer and more extreme rebel forces do. >> any night on the news, clearly there is a lot of news on syria. there are a number of elements within the military affected. we are concerned about the extremist elements. i will say when you look at the opposition as a whole, the overwhelming majority of them are not of al-qaeda. they are civilians truly trying to gain control of their lives in the future. i think we need to be able to do that until there is a multiple effort to work with the country in urging countries in the area. what we don't want to do is to anything that would unintentionally lead to greater
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bloodshed in the country. >> in the northern part of the country, where the rebels are holed up, they don't have the same control that the libyan rebels did. can you see forced -- circumstances in ways the west might protect them from attack forces? >> the situation in syria has been evolving over the past few months. united states government always looks at situations and looks at what types of narratives might unfold. accordingly, they look at what the contingency plan might be. rest assured, various options that are being talked about, these are things the united states government has been
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looking at very carefully and try to understand the implications and trying to understand the disadvantages and the advantages of this. the president has kept us busy making sure we do everything our possible to advance military strategic position here. >>." so is not a complete non- starter? >> i don't recall the president's saying anything was off the table. >> last thursday, the senate
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republican filibuster blocked a bill. what are the consequences? to have not going enhanced authorities to deal with what is increasingly the syrian cyber challenge. we worked very hard to try to push forward and advance the cyber security provisions that were included in a bill that unfortunately did not advance last week. what of the implications? one of the things we need to do is to see what we can do to maybe put additional guidelines or policies in place. if the congress is not going to act on something like this, the president wants to be sure we are doing everything possible. the legislation calling for minimum performance standards on the cyber security front for critical infrastructure that the u.s. government would help develop with private industry.
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this standard would have to be followed by elements of the private sector that have responsibility. obviously, there are a lot of people that came out and misrepresented what was in that bill. the critical infrastructure of this country is under threat. they are developing advanced technologies and we have to improve our defenses on this issue. president obama has called on us to keep pushing on congress and doing what we can under executive branch authorities. >> how serious are the threats? from theoretical vulnerability to actually being attacked. >> when you do in that assessment, you take a look at
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what the capabilities are. then it talks about the vulnerabilities of the target of the attack. right now, i can tell you with great certainty that the vulnerabilities are there, the capabilities are there, so it is a question of intent. whether certain actors are going to operationalize the capabilities. we see intellectual property rights are just robbed. it is a system that is privately owned and privately operated space. the government is not trying to go in and regulate. clearly, the market has not developed in a way to satisfy
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cyber security requirements. if they did, we would not have billions of dollars in losses that companies are now writing off. the american people are going to be at risk. the water we drink, the electricity that we depend upon, the hospital that requires that type of support. that is increasingly at risk. >> give us an example of a vulnerability. let's take the electricity grid. it has the vulnerability of being disabled or crippled. >> there are cyber intrusions that go in and operationally prepare the environment to map
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it, or understand it, infiltrate data, or then you understand it and take actions to destroy it. we are seeing a lot of intrusions and infiltrations'. the next that is disruptive, disabling types of attacks. electric grids, water treatment facilities, mass transportation systems, railways or trains. if those intruders can determine how they can interfere in the command and control systems of these systems, they can do things. they can put trains onto the same tracks and bring down electric grids. >> who is most interested in doing this? >> bad guys. [laughter]
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>> define bad guys who would want to cripple u.s. infrastructure. is in other countries? >> first of all, you look at foreign countries. some that have tremendous cyber capabilities. do they want to bring down critical infrastructure of the united states right now? no, because they rely on the economy for a number of reasons. there are certain foreign actors who would do it in an instant. they fortunately do not have the capability at this time. you also have international criminal groups. you can do things to increase your criminal intent by bringing down infrastructure. there can be all kinds of different reasons. >> when you say you were looking at what the executive branch can do without congressional
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action, are you talking about executive orders? >> executive orders are a good vehicle to direct departments to do certain things so the nation is protected. the president priority is to protect the safety of the american people as well as the prosperity of the american people. we delivered our legislative package to the hill last year. unfortunately, the senate bill went down last week. we can now wait. -- we can't wait. we are doing things in conjunction with others, working to make sure we can better safeguard our environment but also be able to respond and be resilient. if you take down some part of our critical infrastructure, you want to be able to recover very quickly.
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>> one final question before we go to the audience. this leak investigation that is going on. everybody has accused members of the administration of leaking sensitive operation details for the president's political benefit. they cite the hunt for and raid for osama bin laden. they talk about a virus in iran, selecting drone target and the president's involvement. i think some have cited the foiled terrorist plot in yemen. what do you say in response to that? >> a couple things. there are investigations under way so we have to be respectful of that process.
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secondly, the president has made it clear that any leak of information should be vigorously pursued and prosecuted if there was a violation of one's responsibilities in terms of protecting classified information. there have been some devastating leaks. it is unconscionable what has gone out. the president has made it clear to his senior team that for whatever reason if someone is trying to advance their own interests or the one to be able to cultivate a relationship with a reporter, there are very, very critical national security matters that require their to be protection of that information so it does not get out so we can keep the american people say. without a doubt, anybody who
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has released any of this information should be held to the requirements and if necessary deal with the judicial system appropriately. >> there has been damage from some of these leaks. >> absolutely. there has been a conflation from people out there making claims about individuals who have leaked national security secrets for political purposes. it is easy to point fingers at the white house. frankly, i think a lot of the allegations are irresponsible. we need to make sure we are dealing with these issues in a very serious manner because the security of the united states is at risk. we want to be able to be as transparent as possible with the american people. you mentioned when there was
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this instance when there was an ied that al qaeda was trying to put on an aircraft. unfortunately, information was leaked. when that operation came to a conclusion, we do have an obligation to tell the american people about what the threats are coming from al qaeda. it is mixing apples and oranges. we need to make sure leaks of national security secrets need to be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. that should not inhibit us from talking to people. the president feels strongly about engagement. i have said things about our counter-terrorism program in terms of what we do, our ethics and values as a people. i will be mindful of our national security matters.
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sometimes there is tension between these things. >> we are going to questions. you all know the rules. let's start here. >> i was going to take the question back to yemen. he mentioned that it is one of the poorest countries in the world -- you mentioned that it is one of the poorest countries in the world and will be increasingly water insecure. you did not mention anything that we are doing to assist in that or direct that. i wonder if you could comment on what is a significant issue in that poor country. >> i think i did mention water a couple times but did not mention specific projects. it is part of our program to look at ways where water can
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become more available. the water tables are being depleted in yemen rapidly. you have a population growing exponentially. as you mentioned, it is one of the most water consuming crops in the world. there are a number of things and we have talked to the yemenis and the saudis. that is not a question of building more plants along the coast. it is also a question of trying to develop communities that have a better opportunity. the population of yemen is concentrated in some real densely populated areas in just a handful of cities. so, water development and projects that are going to allow them to address their
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longer-term water requirements is absolutely the central. we would like to try to work with the world bank so we can have some aid that will address the infrastructure deficiencies that exist in yemen. even their existing water system is sub-optimal. i think there are greater efficiencies that can be put into the system. saudi arabia has similar types of issues, but their population is not as concentrated in these urban centers without the availability of desalinated water. the way to address the water problem has to be multifaceted. some of it is going to be developing communities in other areas, and also a combination of what types of projects will be able to generate more water that exists in the water table but is not available right now
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or desalinization project. >> right here at. >> i am a fellow at the university of virginia center for national security law. i was doing to of research on al qaeda's relationship with indigenous tribal structures. i think your assessment of the regime is correct. i have seen a lot of progress and i think the administration should be commended. i also think there are significant improvements in the security situation in the south. i have some concerns about implementation on an indigenous basis in terms of security on the one hand and development on the other. it was clear to me from the
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leaders that i interviewed that economic desperation is the primary driver of al qaeda recruiting in the country. some of these regions are so desperate that it is hard for the government let alone our security apparatus to get out to some of these places. the concern i have is how do we do this diligence and who will be doing a going forward? thank you. >> we have a lot of challenges ahead in terms of addressing the multiple needs of the yemeni people in different parts of the country cannot many of which are remote and distant -- of the country, many of which are remote or removed from the government. i think what the president is trying to do -- he is a
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southerner from the area, so he knows the people in that area. there is going to have to be a period of time with you are going to have to develop trust in individuals so the mechanisms are in place. as money flows down, it will float down to the right places. corruption has been rampant for years in yemen. the president is trying to address that. we are talking about a short period of time. there have been complaints in the south that as a result of military forces, you do not have the police coming in or the regeneration of the communities or the shops have not been repaired. that is difficult to do even in the united states. in a place like yemen which is seriously challenged, the
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instruments of interaction with local communities have been interrupted as a result of what aqap has done. what we need to do is make sure what is pumped in at the top flows through the people and the mechanisms that are going to give you confidence to derive benefits. this is going to take a while. we are counting on the president to do as much as he can. two years from now, we're still going to be facing some enormous hurdles. yemen is one of the most backwards parts of the world. it is beautiful. but trying to have a country- wide system where you can connect the government to the people in a sustained way is really tough.
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>> yes, someone in the middle here. the lady in the middle. if i may ask to keep your questions short because we do not have a lot of time. >> thanks. i very much appreciated what got the most attention putting in a broad context. the reason i think the drone program gets so much attention is because of the use of legal force which tends to get people's attention. i would like to understand more about the framework in which we are operating. this is one of the concerns a lot of americans have about that program. you described this in turn a conflict that we are trying to assist the yemeni with in driving out aqap. the u.s. has a strong interest in making sure it is granted in
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the rules of law. are we granting that in the concept of being a party in yemen? if not, what is the legal basis for the use of lethal force? >> i would draw the distinction between what you said and what the reality is. first of all in terms of the basis for the use of lethal force, the operation of the use of lethal force provided the basis for the u.s. government and military to take action against al qaeda because it presents a threat to us. aqap clearly is one of the most active al qaeda franchises worldwide and has been determined to carry out attacks against us. while we have aided the government in building the capacity to deal with the
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insurgency that exists on the ground, we are not involved in working with the yemeni government as a part of that insurgency. what needs to be made clear is there are individuals in al qaeda that are determined to kill americans whether in the homeland or other parts of the world. we go to a great extent to thwart those attacks. when we do not have those opportunities to prevent these individuals from carrying out the attacks, if our only recourse to take legal action to provide our partners with assistance or to do things with them to mitigate the threat, we will do it. so, there is uncertainty -- aqap is a very interesting
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organization. you look at al qaeda. there are some pakistanis up there in al qaeda, but mainly they are arabs. the arabian peninsula is mostly made up of yemenis. they are not determined only to carry out attacks against americans. and a lot of them are trying to gain ground. that actually put up their flags. controlling the territory. they are trying to unseat the government. we are trying to help the yemenis thwart that insurgency and push it back. it is counter to our interests
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and the arabian peninsula as a whole. where we get involved is to mitigate those terrorist threats. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has some very creative and determined murderers that have gone to great lengths to try to find ways to put ied's on aircraft and carry out attacks on a daily basis. we are not going to sit by and let our fellow americans the killed. if the only way we can prevent this deaths is to take direct action against them, we will do so. >> this gentleman right here. then the lady right there. >> thank you so much. what is your assessment of the claim from five members of congress that the muslim brotherhood has deeply penetrated the u.s. government? [laughter]
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>> i would refer you to the five members of congress who made that remark. i have no idea what it is they are making reference to. [laughter] i really cannot address that statement. >> i wanted to give you a chance to give us a report card on al qaeda at large. how they are doing in the arabian peninsula. you mentioned that you disrupted their recording operations. can you give us more specifics? >> i will start with yemen. there is a lot of attention paid to when there is an ordinance dropped by somebody against a terrorist organization. that is what gets the focus them back on a daily basis, -- gets the focused.
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on a daily basis, there are operations under way thwarting these plans. you know there are different phases and in operation, from fund-raising to identifying operatives and materials or whatever else. there is a continuum there. regularly, we and the yemenis are disrupting things taking place on the continuing. on a regular basis, we are doing that. in yemen, two things are in very positive directions. one is since the president has assumed the presidency, there is a new consistency in what the government is doing on the terrorism front. our ability to work with them
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and the intelligence, military, security -- that has increased significantly since he has come on. secondly, thankfully, the military has been able to reverse the gains and the momentum of aqap in the south. they have dislodged and number of those units. -- dislodged a number of those units. there are several hundred hard- core, committed, full-time fighters. then there are part-time tribal fighters that will join them because they are in their area. i do think psychologically as well as geographically there have been significant gains made by forces being able to demonstrate they can push them out. it is the concept of clear hole ville. they have been degraded
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significantly in terms of the number of operatives and leaders that have been taken off the battlefield. they will continue the pressure on them because that is the wellspring of al qaeda that has sprung. just because they have been bad the damage, that does not mean they do not pack a lethal punch. we know what they did on 9/11. there are a lot of individuals attracted by the al qaeda propaganda that went to carry out these attacks. we have degraded that. i am concerned about the growth of the franchises. you look at iraq or syria. yemen, then you look at africa where you have a lot of areas that have been able to take the
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vantage of a vast expansion of territories that are ungoverned. in mali, there are areas in the north where al qaeda has been in with tribal areas and others that present a continued threat. right now, al qaeda elements in africa pose a regional threat but there is the concern they could use their growth to look to the north to europe and even beyond. unfortunately, al qaeda has not gone away. i know memory sometimes fades since 9/11, but the appendages of the al qaeda still exist and continue to grow. that is why we have to work with our partners. no matter how many drones you have up there, we are trying to give space to the countries to be able to take the situations on themselves and be able to
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carve out the cancerous tumor of the al qaeda. >> we only have a couple minutes left. let's take two more questions as long as they are short. >> i wanted to follow up on a question. who threatens the critical infrastructure? your response was "bad guys." what is the sense of collaboration among those bad guys? >> thank you. pass the microphone over. >> i would like to address your attention to nigeria and see what your assessment is. is this an existential threat to the state? >> those are two very big questions to answer in two minutes.
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>> in terms of collaboration among various groups, one phenomenon i would point to is that there are a lot of individuals who have been a part of different types of intelligence and security agencies abroad who have developed and refined their capabilities in the cyber realm. sometimes, these individuals will retire or move on to other pastures, and sometimes they set up their own efforts. sometimes they maintain relationships with their previous employers in the government. so, what we are seeing in different places in asia, there are a number of activities emanating from asia sometimes very hard to distinguish whether it is coming from a state sponsor or working on behalf of a state-sponsored or
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coming from an organized criminal group or a business that is trying to advance its commercial interests. we are seeing more and more common features. we are seeing the dna that is flowing downstream. frequently, it comes from the skills that one acquires and the government. i think we have to be mindful there are relationships there either born out of a pedigree or how they develop these skills or because different types of organizations have common cause. on nigeria, it is a very serious concern that we have and the government has as well. you have the domestic dynamics that are under way in terms of the north and the south.
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they have been the elements of a domestic phenomenon that now has these terrorist dimensions. what constitutes terrorism? international terrorism. just like aqap has an insurgency against the yemeni government, there are elements of the group in nigeria that have a far-end target in their sights and continue to go after them. it is an existential threat. one of the things we have learned is that these organizations have the potential to expand at a rapid pace. it is critically important to nip it in the bud but i also think it speaks to the need to
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take the actions to eliminate the manifestation of the terrorist threats and actions. so, aqap had its roots in al qaeda corps, but it will take advantage of the real problems in yemen. there is a core there that has a domestic political agenda but also fed by a member of the underlying conditions that either because of discrimination or perceived inequities in the system, they are able to recruit -- the teenagers in africa that are being attracted and pulled into these organizations. $10 or $20 is something to attract a person to sign on with a terrorist organization.
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15 or 16-year olds do not know any better. you really have to tackle the problems that exist because the terrorist groups are taking advantage. president obama even though he has agreed to and authorized the actions we need to take to keep the american people say, he continues to drive home that these are just temporary measures. we need to be able to address those conditions or factors that are contributing to these terrorist organizations being able to exploit the conditions that exist in other countries. there is a much broader set of issues that need to be tackled. these countries need to develop an institution that the people can have confidence in. judicial reform, legal reform, rooting out corruption -- these are part of a broader security
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effort that the president has insisted that we pursue. >> john brennan, what house adviser on counter-terrorism, thank you. -- white house adviser on counter-terrorism, thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] with a >> in an hour and a half, the second day of the airline pilots
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association for medicare security and safety will be on c-span 2 beginning with a paddle on enhancing security and focusing on high risk to travelers. at 8:45 eastern on c-span 3, the education department office of safe and healthy student's offers a program on school discipline. in a few moments, today's headlines and your calls live on "washington journal." the head of the consumer product safety commission is that the national press club this morning live at 10:00 eastern. then the american constitution at 8:eastern the evening schedule begins with a panel on iraq with three former u.s. ambassadors. in 45 minutes, we will talk with former maryland representative tom mcmillen about bipartisan plans to reform congress. plans to reform congress.
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